In a letter to WTO member governments, 188 organizations representing a wide diversity of civil society from developing and developed countries, called on government representatives in Geneva to “abandon the negotiations towards a binding agreement on Trade Facilitation in advance of the upcoming 9th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Bali." The letter was organized by the Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network. The letter states “binding rules on Trade Facilitation should not be promoted either inside the WTO through the proposed Trade Facilitation (TF) agreement, nor through other avenues such as bilateral or regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) or Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)."
The historic free-trade negotiations between Canada and the European Union were launched to much fanfare this month, but reaching a deal between the 27-country economic bloc and the provincially dominated federation of Canada will not be a walk in the park.
As a result of increasing parliamentary and public concern, Bill C-23, the implementing legislation for the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), has been removed from the Canadian government's current legislative agenda.